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Dear Neighbor,

I hope everyone is enjoying the nice, spring weather! As most of you may know, I reopened my district office a couple of weeks ago and I am enjoying working out of the heart of Ballard again. If you see me at the Ballard Service Center, whether I’m meeting with D6 residents or outside picking up trash, don’t hesitate to say hello.

In this email is an update of what my office has been up to these last couple of weeks, including a Woodland Park update, information on Tenant Protection Legislation that I’ve introduced, a special proclamation for a lifelong Ballardite, and a Habitat for Humanity dedication event I recently spoke at. Every week I share videos summarizing the work I have completed the previous week, and the work to be done in the coming week. You can view those videos here. I have also begun recording videos on specific projects my office and I have wrapped up, and the first one reviews work accomplished over the last year.

As always, if you have questions about anything in this newsletter and are a D6 resident, you can request to meet with me during office hours. Sign up here to request a meeting during my district office hours.

-- Dan

Woodland Park Update

We are currently in the final phase of our homelessness outreach work to bring people living at Woodland Park inside and returning the park to its intended use. I want to keep you in the loop on where we are now and the work ahead.   

 As I’ve shared before, starting in January I worked with Mayor Harrell's team to intensify homelessness outreach efforts in Woodland Park to ensure that we offer appropriate shelter and services, address ongoing public health and safety concerns, and restore community access to the park.  

Using the model from the Ballard Commons Park, the Mayor’s Office and I convened a coordinated effort with the King County Regional Homelessness Authority, Evergreen Treatment Services - REACH, the Phinney Neighborhood Association, and the City’s Unified Care Team, HOPE Team, and Parks and Recreation Department (SPR). This coordinated group has approached the work in phases to make sure our efforts are successful in the long-term:   

  • Phase 1 began in January with immediate outreach and harm reduction. The HOPE Team and REACH worked onsite daily to establish relationships of trust and making the connections needed to implement Phase 2. During Phase 1, the City added temporary additional dumpsters, toilets, and hand washing stations to reduce the impacts of people living in the park. 

  • Phase 2 began in February, with the HOPE Team and REACH creating and finalizing a By Name List of about 60 people in the park and creating a Needs Assessment to know each person’s specific needs. We immediately began moving people out of the park and into shelter and housing before Phase 3 began.   

  • Phase 3 began in March. Using the By Name List and Needs Assessment, the HOPE Team and REACH connect each person to the shelter or housing option that meets their needs. Some people need a place that allows a pet, some people need a place that will accept them and their partner, some people need to move together as a group, and some people need to be sheltered away from each other. Phase 3 is when most people on the By Name List are moved out of the park and into shelter and housing.   

We are currently in Phase 3 at Woodland Park. As of April 21st, we have moved at least 30 people inside and we are still actively moving people inside. At this point, nearly everyone on the By Name List has been offered their preferred shelter option and our goal is to ensure as many people as possible are able to move inside to the shelter or housing with services matched to their specific needs.  

Some people have moved into the park after the By Name List was closed. While we focus our offers of shelter to people on the By-Name-List, we have also moved people inside who were not on the list. So far, these connections to shelter and housing include:  

  • 17 to Tiny House Villages
  • 9 to Enhanced Shelter 
  • 1 individual relocated with a housing solution 
  • 2 households relocated with an Emergency Housing Voucher 
  • 1 individual is currently approved for Permanent Supportive Housing 
  • 5 people not on the By Name List have been referred to shelter from the park 
    • 1 to Enhanced Shelter 
    • 4 to Tiny House Villages

This encampment removal’s timeline has been dictated by shelter and housing availability, and we continue to work as fast as possible to get people inside and return the park to its intended use. Our goal is to ensure that everyone receives an offer of shelter, and that the vast majority are connected to the best-fitting shelter and support. From the outside, conditions at the park may not look very different until Phase 3 is complete with everyone on the By Name List receiving authentic offers of adequate shelter. When Phase 3 is completed, specific areas of the park will be temporarily closed for remediation.  I will continue to update you as this process continues.   

Tenant Protection Legislation

Last week, the City Council passed legislation that I proposed to strengthen protections for tenants who are still recovering from the economic impacts of COVID-19. Council Bill 120305 requires that landlords offer tenants a reasonable amount of time to repay any rental debts incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic and limits their monthly installments to one-third of their monthly rent.

In May of 2020, the City Council passed legislation to require repayment plans for tenants who could not pay rent during the pandemic. At that time the pandemic was only two months old, and the repayment plan we required would only last for six-months. During the first legislative session of the pandemic the State Legislature also passed repayment legislation in April of 2021. Since the legislature had an additional year to consider the impacts of the pandemic their bill reflects the impacts of a two-year pandemic rather than a two month pandemic. Yesterday’s vote updates our protections to reflect a two-plus-year-long pandemic and brings City law into conformity with state-law, reducing confusion that could result from conflicting protections.

By ensuring that tenants have a reasonable amount of time to repay their rent, we can reduce evictions, ensure all debt is paid, and help promote an equitable recovery from COVID-19.

Video Update 

My team and I accomplished a lot in 2021, and while 2022 is already moving fast, I wanted to share a few highlights. In 2021, my office:

  • Secured funding for new Green Lake Boathouse
  • Reopened the two-way bike line for W Green Lake Way
  • Revived and passed the Crown Hill Community Action Plan
  • Transferred the Greenwood Senior Center to the Phinney Ridge Neighborhood Association
  • Adopted the strongest energy code in the nation
  • Created protections for manufactured home parks
  • Championed Street Cafes and established a pathway to permanency
  • My Bringing Business Home bill provided flexibility to small businesses during the pandemic
  • And more!

If you have questions or would like to discuss any of these policies, please request to meet with me during my office hours.

Watch the Video Update

A Proclamation Honoring Lois Morgensen


 

The City of Seattle officially declared April 20th, 2022 as Lois Morgensen Day, because of her work with local organizations and the Seattle Public Schools for over 30 years. Lois moved to Washington in 1943, where she contributed to the war effort by working on behalf of our nation as a Rosie the Riveter at Boeing during WWII. Lois has specifically demonstrated a sustained commitment to fostering a strong and active community in Ballard. She has been a member of the Ballard Elks Lodge #827 for 25 years and served as a Lodge Secretary for 12 years.

Lois is loved by all because she is kind, takes no crap and can never be tricked. Happy 98th birthday, Lois and thank you for all that you do for the community!
 

Copper Pines Habitat for Humanity Dedication


 

When I was a student at Whitman Middle School, I would walk past the unused substation at 85th St and 28th Ave. At the time, an expensive house would sell for $200,000. We all know the least expensive homes in the neighborhood are now listing for $850,000 and rising. Copper Pines provides a pathway for families like the ones I grew up with, to be able to live in our neighborhood.

This past Saturday, I attended a Habitat for Humanity celebration for the completion of their Copper Pines project, which created seven new affordable homes in the Loyal Heights neighborhood. The land for this project was dedicated by the City of Seattle as part of the city’s Housing Seattle Now Initiative, and the property will be placed in a Land Trust to ensure permanent affordability for future residents. The name is quite special as well: Copper referencing the copper wire from the substation and Pines referencing the trees on the site that were preserved as part of the development. I was thrilled to be on-hand for this dedication and to welcome some of District 6’s newest residents.
 

D6 Office Hours Visitor

Last Thursday, while holding my regular office hours I had an unscheduled visit from a young D6 Resident named Jack. We discussed issues Jack is passionate about and scheduling a trip for his class to visit City Hall! I love working from my District Office because I get to have more interactions with the very people I am serving. I have long said you shouldn’t have to go out of your way to have your voice heard at City Hall and this is one way I make that a reality. 

Syttende Mai Celebration 

Hipp Hipp Hurra! The Syttende Mai Celebration and Parade is back. On May 17th, 2022, come to Ballard to enjoy a full day of events, with the parade concluding the day’s festivities. For a full schedule of events, check out the event’s official website.

This is one of my favorite community events of the Spring, so I hope to see you all there!

Hearing From You

Every week I meet with D6 residents to hear about issues affecting you daily. I love talking directly to D6ers, it is often the best part of my week. If you would like to meet with me, please use this form to set up a time. I meet with residents during the day and evening too. I look forward to speaking with you soon!

Subscribe to My Newsletter

If this email was forwarded to you by a friend, I encourage you to sign-up for my newsletter! I send out a regular newsletter about the happenings in our district, updates from City Hall, and progress reports on the work we are doing to make life better for all of us in Seattle.

To stay up to date, sign up for my newsletter here!

 

Videos on My Website

Every Monday morning, I update the City Council on issues in District 6 and the work my office is doing that week. These updates are a helpful way to follow along with our work. I also post these videos weekly on my website and social media. You can view the latest updates and past videos on my website here.
If you need assistance, please reach out to my office:
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